Self and Other in post-2002 China-Hong Kong co-productions – Johnnie To’s Drug War

  • Bingying Deng


The cinematic landscapes of both China and Hong Kong were significantly changed after CEPA, the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnerships Arrangement, was formed in 2002, which saw Chinese and Hong Kong co-production films become domestic rather than foreign films. This change calls for a new theoretical framework in reading ‘nationhood’ in co-productions. ‘Nationhood,’ or identity, is usually articulated in masculine terms which are constructed as an ideal Self through an evil Other in both China and Hong Kong. Using Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s co-production Drug War (2012) as an example, this article argues that through his auteurship, To deconstructs this cinematic representation of masculinity in both China and Hong Kong. By doing so, To points out the problems inherent in the nationhood/identity of both China and Hong Kong and further offers a subtle critique of the state narratives of China.

Black Lives Matter Protest. Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash
How to Cite